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Asian Chemical Connections

Adjusting Inventories To Lower China Growth

By John Richardson EXCESSIVE inventory building across a range of commodities in China, including  petrochemicals, continues to worry the blog. One reason, as we discussed yesterday, might be that traders are in the midst of a liquidity squeeze as a result of the late June credit crackdown. They have therefore taken out further very-aggressive positions […]

China Commodities Rally About Protecting Existing Debt

By John Richardson OVER the last few days we have focused on the increased risk-on trade in commodities, including petrochemicals. But maybe the rallies we have seen  in products such as fibre intermediates and polyethylene (PE)  are mainly about traders being forced to increase their risk profiles in order to protect existing liquidity. Here is the […]

More People Wanting To Buy Than Sell

By John Richardson SOME people in the petrochemicals industry are showing great confidence in the future. Perhaps it is no coincidence that several of these people are said to be Chinese domestic traders in polyethylene (PE) and mono-ethylene glycol (MEG) who might have long positions to protect. But if PE is in genuinely wonderful shape, […]

Water Shortages to Scupper China CTO Industry

  By John Richardson THE debate about how exactly how much coal-to-olefins (CTO) capacity China will add has been largely around the economics of the process versus that of naphtha cracking. In terms of capital costs, building a CTO complex costs 1.5-2 times more than constructing a naphtha cracker, according to our colleagues at CBI […]

China’s “Mini-Stimulus” Package

By John Richardson The big question this morning for anybody concerned about China’s long-term economic future is whether its “mini-stimulus package” will do any good. Yesterday, Beijing announced that it would eliminate taxes on small businesses, reduce costs for exporters and line-up funds for the construction of railways. This followed Prime Minister Li Keqiang declaring […]

Only 4-6 US Cracker Projects Will Happen

By John Richardson ONLY 4-6 of all the above US cracker projects are likely to go ahead as realisation dawns that both demand and feedstock advantage might not be as strong as previously thought, an industry source told the blog. “First of all, companies need to factor into demand and supply forecasts the possibility that […]

Europe’s Rubbish Solution

  By John Richardson SHALE gas may never be a significant energy solution for Europe because the political challenges are just too great, as this article in the Financial Times points out.For example, the FT writes that: Fracking is banned in France and the Netherlands. The Dutch government scrapped a parliamentary proposal to allow fracking […]

Asia’s Naphtha Crackers

By John Richardson ONE industry observer describes some of the cracker and refinery-petrochemicals projects in Southeast Asia (SEA) as “national projects”. In other words, their justification is not entirely on economics, but also about nation building and reducing import dependency. And so, as we discussed yesterday, perhaps some of these projects will be shelved when […]

Asia, The Fed And Swimming Naked

  By John Richardson WHEN the tide eventually goes out, we will find out who has been swimming naked. This will also be the case in several emerging markets, ex-China, when the Fed eventually draws down its stimulus. Hot money seeking higher returns has flowed into India, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and Malaysia, for example, […]

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